Yankees place closer on 15-day injured list in latest blow to pitching staff

aroldis chapman, yankees

The New York Yankees have lost three pitchers to injury in the past week, notably Luis Gil and Chad Green. Both Gill and Green will undergo Tommy John surgery, prematurely ending their season.

However, manager Aaron Boone also mentioned recently that closer Aroldis Chapman has been dealing with an Achilles injury. Clearly, the issue was a bit more serious than we expected, considering the team placed him on the 15-day injured list on Tuesday afternoon.

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According to the Yankees PR:

  • Placed LHP Aroldis Chapman on 15-day injured list with left Achilles tendinitis.

Normally, it takes a few weeks for Achilles tendinitis to go away, meaning the Yankees could be without their top closer for quite some time.

Without him, the Yankees have a few options they can choose from to help supplement the loss. Clay Holmes stands out as the preferable closer while Chapman is recovering.

This season, Holmes hosts a 0.42 ERA over 21.2 innings pitched. He has 8.72 strikeouts per nine, 0.83 walk rate, and 1.58 FIP. Holmes is also generating a 27% strikeout rate, and batters are hitting .173 against him this season, much better than his 2020 numbers with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Holmes dominates against right-handed batters, throwing his lethal sinker 80.2% of the time. He also incorporates a slider at 18.7%. His sinker velocity has reached 96.3 mph, the highest in his career.

Chapman, on the other hand, has struggled considerably in the month of May. His Achilles injury could be the leading factor in his regression, posting a 9.53 ERA over 5.2 innings this month. He’s allowed 11 hits, two homers, and six earned runs in that time span.

On the season, Chapman has a 3.86 ERA with a career-low 9.64 strikeouts per nine. His ground-ball rate is down to 34.1%, and the opposing hitter’s exit velocity is at 88.7 mph, tied for the highest in his career.

The Yankees made a good decision shutting down Chapman so he can recover and make a positive impact during the second half of the 2022 season.